Not much happened this episode, but it was a sweet one with Asumi learning what it “cute” means, and while doing so, also learned what it felt like to be “lonely”. Actually the latter caught the girls off-guard because it was something she figured out on her own.
But while it was a lovely episode, the truth it choked me up and I cried. Last week it really hit home for me because I couldn’t help but think about dear cat, Rosie who has recently passed on September 1st. She was 20 years old. She was born on a dairy farm, and at the time lived mostly outdoors, so she was a bit feral. Seeing Hinata bond with Pochi reminded me of her kitten days, where it took a long time her for her to warm up to people (in particular adults, it took ten years before she really began to socialize with my parents), so I consider myself lucky that she trusted me enough was able to form a bond with her when I was just a child.
Then there was the part when Guaiwaru ridiculed animals for being inferior lifeforms. Anyone who loves animals and/or their pets understand they are anything but that. Cats and dogs, and other animals are precious gifts to us. Their ability to give you unconditional love and support is priceless and irreplaceable. I simply can’t imagine not having an animal in my life. Seeing that dog protect the kid from the monster and Pochi doing the same, both hit me right in the feels. Thank goodness Asumi was able to protect the precious pups. The monster’s attack in this episode was no joke with the way it struck the dog park. It was pretty violent and probably one of the most direct attack we have seen against the public by far.
On the flip side of things we saw how Guaiwaru was super salty about losing what he hoped to make use of a hidden advantage. He was annoyed that Shindoine didn’t make good use of the Mega Part Daruizen had given her (though I beg to differ, this buff has been giving the girls a real hard time. If Asumi weren’t here, they would be in deep, deep trouble right now!) and he was still reeling over being called out for trying to claim credit for Batetemoda’s discovery, and then being made fun of for it. That being said, he was smart with the way he sought out an element to corrupt so he could maximize his harvest.
That’s about all I have to say about this one, so let’s move onto the next episode!
YOOOOOOO! I KNEW IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE ANIMALS WERE THE NEXT TARGET! And damn you Daruizen, you for picking a baby bird of all things to be your first test subject. Gosh, had the girls known Nebusokka was the very bird they encountered the day before, it could have complicated things…
Considering Nebusokka was intelligent enough to talk and sought attention from Daruizen (his whole mood was: NOTICE ME SENPAI), it seems Mega-Parts can create a monsters or even potentially new Pathogerms Allies similarly to how the parasite created Batetemoda. I guess you could say it’s kind of in the middle of the two. One additional difference to note though is probably the ‘intelligence’. We were able to hear Nebusokka’s thoughts, and even his fears, such as heights (which gave us insight some why he was having a hard time flying– despite being able to).
And with animals being used as the next “Weapon Phase”, it brings us back to what many of us (myself included) wondered about at the beginning of the show: Will there be a phase where Humans become the target? I always suspected if they were to be, they will be the final phase, but with the Pandemic in the mix, if it was supposed to be part of the story it may not be anymore (though on the contrary, it may even be good to go along with that just because what is more hopeful and uplifting than seeing these four heroines conquer disease?)
Needless to say, I am absolutely ecstatic with the way they went about this development for several reasons. First off, YES TO EXPERIMENTATION! I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I AM TO SEE THIS. IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAD HOPED FOR! BLESS THE WRITERS FOR DOING THIS! It is always better to have proactive antagonists! They make any story far more exciting because instead of sticking with the same old tactics or lazying around, they are actually adapting and evolving to ensure they are able to keep up with the protagonists’ growth. That’s why I am so in love with the antagonists in this series, in particular Daruizen, because he is such a shrewd guy! Of course we also have to appreciate Guaiwaru, who has become more ambitious recently, and Batetemoda for shaking things up with his violent streak! As for Shindoine, she is probably the most passive general of the bunch so far, so I still waiting for to show us what she is capable of. But I get the feeling she may be serving a different purpose from Daruizen and Guaiwaru. It seems the longer she is left to her own devices, the more she starts to wonder about why she is in love with the King.
The next thing I loved was switching up the time and place where the antagonists strike. There is so much potential with this kind of set-up, that I really want to see how much and far the writers are willing to go with this scenario. Daruizen struck after dark at a lake in Oraka, which is two hours away (by train) from the girls’ town. Thanks to that, he had plenty of time not only to find a target but to observe his experiment. This is the second time we see the enemy strike at night, and if their time is used well, it gives them so much time to wreck havoc and become stronger. That’s why I would like to see this will become part of the antagonist’s strategy in the future because it can really shake things up in terms of how the girls will fare with the lack of sleep.
But striking away from the girls’ territory was probably one of the biggest advantages the antagonists can gain. Latte only heard the cries several hours later, but had it not been for Asumi’s speed-travel abilities, it would have taken the girls two hours to get to the location. Now while some may think ability is an overkill (though honestly, I think it makes sense since Asumi is serving as the legendary precure’s spirit vessel), I see it as something that can be exploited to weaken her. Asumi can’t spam it. It takes up too much energy, that’s why she told the girls they would need to take the train back home. And the reason why I believe it can be turned into a weakness is because Daruizen is paying more attention to her and voiced what we’re all thinking right now: Asumi is way too strong. She was the one who did the brunt of the work today, while the other three merely served as “support”. In fact because they didn’t really do much besides that today. Nebusokka completely overwhelmed them. That’s why I suspect Daruizen will try to come up with a strategy to wind her down, or weaken her altogether. And one way they could do that is forcing her to expend her energy, such as fast-travel or for other purposes. That could be an organic way to nerf her abilities without making it overly complicated. But to do that, first he needs the intel that fast-travel drains her. He hasn’t caught onto that just yet, but if they do start striking in new locations far away more often, it should only be a matter of time before somebody notices, be it him, Guaiwaru or Shindoine.
Aside from the fantastic development this episode, the lessons leading up to it made me smile because it made me think back to how I was when I was younger. I was that kid who was very attached to nature. Had I been watching this back then, I probably would have turned to my mom and said, “I am going to be a tree doctor when I grow up!”, hahaha! Also when Nodoka wanted to pick up the baby bird I was like, “NODOKA NO! DON’T TOUCH IT!” When we see the cute little babies on their own, of course there is the urge to help them, but it’s important to remember there is a possibility you may end up doing more damage than good if you intervene. You really need to know what you are doing!
Next week looks like poor Pegitan is going to get himself in trouble again. Geez, he can’t catch a break huh? Looks like a kid is going to take him back to her place, and he is going to have to orchestrate a grand escape haha! Good luck lil’ guy.